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Record Details

Record 36 of 7609
The effects of ultraviolet light on the degradation of organic compounds - A possible explanation for the absence of organic matter on Mars
Author and Affiliation:
Oro, J.(Houston Univ., TX, United States)
Holzer, G.(Houston, University, Houston, Tex., United States)
Abstract: The analysis of the top layer of the Martian regolith at the two Viking landing sites did not reveal any indigenous organic compounds. However, the existence of such compounds at deeper layers cannot be ruled out. Cosmochemical considerations indicate various potential sources for organic matter on Mars, such as comets and meteorites. The study tested the stability of a sample of the Murchison meteorite and various organic substances which have been detected in carbonaceous chondrites, such as glycine, adenine and naphthalene, to the action of ultraviolet light. The compounds were adsorbed on powdered quartz and on California desert soil and were irradiated in the presence or absence of oxygen. The organic content, before and after irradiation, was measured by carbon elementary analysis, UV-absorption, amino acid analysis or pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. In the absence of oxygen, adenine and glycine appear to be stable over the given part of irradiation. A definite degradation was noticed in the case of naphtalene and the Murchison meteorite. In the presence of oxygen in amounts comparable to those on Mars all compounds were degraded. The degree of degradation was influenced by the irradiation time, temperature and oxygen content.
Publication Date: Jan 01, 1979
Document ID:
19790057693
(Acquired Dec 01, 1995)
Accession Number: 79A41706
Subject Category: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
Publication Information: (SEE A79-41701 17-51)
Publisher Information: United Kingdom
Meeting Information: Life sciences and space research XVII; Open Meeting of the Working Group on Space Biology; May 29, 1978-June 10, 1978; Innsbruck; Austria
Contract/Grant/Task Num: NAS1-9685; NGR-44-005-002
Financial Sponsor: NASA; United States
Organization Source: Houston Univ.; TX, United States
Description: 10p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright
NASA Terms: MARS SURFACE SAMPLES; NAPHTHALENE; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; PHOTODECOMPOSITION; ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION; ABUNDANCE; CARBON DIOXIDE; CARBONACEOUS CHONDRITES; EXOBIOLOGY; MARS ATMOSPHERE; OXIDATION; PYROLYSIS; SOLAR FLUX; TABLES (DATA); VIKING LANDER 1; VIKING LANDER 2
Imprint And Other Notes: In: Life sciences and space research XVII; Proceedings of the Open Meeting of the Working Group on Space Biology, May 29-June 10, 1978, and Symposium on Gravitational Physiology, Innsbruck, Austria, June 2, 3, 1978. (A79-41701 17-51) Oxford, Pergamon Press, Ltd., 1979, p. 77-86.
Availability Source: Other Sources
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